The Best PS1 Fighting Games Of All Time

best ps1 fighting games
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The PlayStation 1 (PS1) era was a fantastic time for fighting games, introducing a plethora of titles that defined the genre and influenced countless successors.

These games ranged from traditional 1v1 fighters to innovative titles that broke the mold, offering diverse gameplay experiences.

Seeing as though there are a lot of them released over the console’s life cycle though, it is tricky to narrow down which ones you might want to revisit.

Let’s take a deep dive into the best PS1 fighting games, ranking them from the notable to the absolute best.

Best PS1 Fighting Games Ranked From Worst To Best

11. Gundam Battle Assault 2 (2002)

gundam battle assault 2 ps1

Gundam Battle Assault 2 stands out with its anime-inspired mecha battles and wide range of playable mobile suits.

The game combines traditional fighting mechanics with the unique flair of the Gundam series, offering a distinct experience.

Its diverse roster and engaging gameplay make it a worthy entry in our list of the best PS1 fighting games.

10. X-Men: Mutant Academy 2 (2001)

xmen mutant academy 2 ps1

X-Men: Mutant Academy 2 brings the beloved characters of the X-Men universe into the fighting game realm.

This title is known for its faithful representation of the characters’ abilities and its fluid combat system.

The game offers both single-player and multiplayer modes, making it a versatile and enjoyable fighter on the PS1.

The graphics are also pretty great for the time too, making it a solid all-rounder that’s still brilliant to play in today’s modern world.

9. Ready 2 Rumble Boxing: Round 2 (2000)

ready 2 rumble boxing round 2 ps1

Ready 2 Rumble Boxing: Round 2 adds a comical twist to the fighting genre with its exaggerated characters and over-the-top boxing action.

The game is celebrated for its entertaining gameplay and unique ‘Rumble’ mechanic, which adds an extra layer of strategy to the matches.

Boxing games are always a fun affair but when you combine them with the new mechanics this entry brings, it makes it that but more enjoyable.

That’s why Ready 2 Rumble Boxing: Round 2 cements its place on this list as well as the best PS1 sport games.

8. Tekken 2 (1996)

tekken 2 ps1

Tekken 2 built upon the success of its predecessor, enhancing the game’s mechanics and expanding its character roster.

Known for its technical depth and fluid combat, Tekken 2 remains a classic in the fighting game community.

Its combination of 3D movement and diverse fighting styles secures its spot among the best PS1 fighting games.

7. Bushido Blade (1997)

bushido blade ps1

Bushido Blade offers a unique take on the fighting game genre with its realistic weapon-based combat and absence of health bars.

The game’s one-hit kill system provides a tense and strategic gameplay experience, standing out as a truly innovative title on the PS1.

If you’re after something a little different than the classic fists and feet combat, give Bushido Blade a try.

6. Capcom vs SNK Pro (2002)

capcom vs snk pro ps1

Capcom vs SNK Pro represents a dream crossover between two titans of the fighting game world.

The game features characters from both Capcom and SNK franchises, offering a varied roster and distinct fighting styles.

Its ‘Groove’ system allows players to choose different gameplay mechanics, making it a highly customizable and engaging fighter.

The graphics stand the test of time too, with vibrant colors and smooth animations that make it a really fluid affair.

5. Battle Arena Toshinden (1995)

battle arena toshinden ps1

Battle Arena Toshinden was a trailblazer in the 3D fighting game genre on the PS1.

This game is celebrated for introducing the concept of sidestepping, adding a new dimension to the combat.

With its diverse roster of characters, each equipped with unique weapons and fighting styles, Battle Arena Toshinden earns its place among the best PS1 fighting games for its innovation and enjoyable gameplay.

4. WWF Smackdown! 2: Know Your Role (2000)

wwf smackdown 2 ps1

WWF Smackdown! 2: Know Your Role brought the world of professional wrestling to life in a video game like never before.

Featuring a massive roster of wrestlers, extensive customization options, and a variety of match types, it captured the essence of WWF entertainment.

Its fast-paced action and accessibility make it a standout title in the PS1’s fighting game library, and one that is especially fun to get some couch multiplayer going.

3. Dead or Alive (1998)

dead or alive ps1

Dead or Alive set itself apart with its fluid combat system, impressive graphics, and interactive stages.

Known for its fast-paced gameplay and counter system, the game offered a deep and rewarding fighting experience.

With a diverse set of fighters to control and intuitive motion physics, it’s always a blast to pick up and play.

Dead or Alive’s blend of style and substance secures its position as one of the best PS1 fighting games.

2. Street Fighter Alpha 3 (1999)

street fighter 3 alpha ps1

Street Fighter Alpha 3 is a pinnacle of 2D fighting games on the PS1.

It expanded the series with a large roster of characters, multiple fighting styles (ISMs), and a polished combat system.

Like Capcom vs SNK Pro, everything really holds up today graphically, something that not all games in this genre possess.

The game’s depth, coupled with its vibrant art style and engaging gameplay, makes it a favorite among fighting game enthusiasts and a top contender in the PS1 era.

1. Tekken 3 (1998)

tekken 3 ps1

At the top of our list is Tekken 3, a game that many consider one of the greatest fighting games of all time.

It brought a revolution in 3D fighting with its varied cast, fluid movement, and intricate combat mechanics.

The roster of characters is nothing short of stellar with both new and returning faces that fans of the series really lapped up.

The continuation of the story paired with fun multiplayer really added to its longevity too.

All in all, Tekken 3’s depth and accessibility made it a hit both casually and in competitive scenes, crowning it as the king of the best PS1 fighting games.

Final Word

Reflecting on the best PS1 fighting games reveals a diverse and innovative era in gaming history, similar to that of the best PS1 JRPGs.

These titles offered something for everyone, from the comic antics of Ready 2 Rumble to the technical mastery of Tekken 3.

They pushed the boundaries of what a fighting game could be, introducing new mechanics, styles, and storytelling methods.

Whether you’re a seasoned veteran revisiting these classics or a newcomer discovering them for the first time, each game on this list offers a unique and thrilling experience.

The PlayStation 1 era wasn’t just a time for these games to shine; it was a time for them to define a genre.

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Jacob Woodward
Jacob Woodward
Jacob has multiple years of experience in the gaming and tech industry, writing for media publishers such as Gfinity, NetworkN, GGRecon, and more. He is a retro gaming expert, obsessed with getting the nostalgia kick that it brings. With a wealth of experience in collecting, playing with, and even modding retro systems, he has key knowledge on this niche corner of the market.
Jacob Woodward
Jacob Woodward
Jacob has multiple years of experience in the gaming and tech industry, writing for media publishers such as Gfinity, NetworkN, GGRecon, and more. He is a retro gaming expert, obsessed with getting the nostalgia kick that it brings. With a wealth of experience in collecting, playing with, and even modding retro systems, he has key knowledge on this niche corner of the market.